Ink Overflow: How did I get to this point in my life and where am I headed?
I’ve always been passionate about the power of words and a believer in the importance of self-expression through art – no matter the art form. I first started writing when I was eleven and my father gave me this black notebook to write my thoughts in. I recently had a look through that notebook since the last time I talked about it in an interview for Neo Grand Design, and I realized that I was writing poetry even back then – even though it was incredibly corny. I guess I’ve always had a thing for rhymes. Music has always been a big part of me – especially Hip Hop music. I think I identify more with the Hip Hop culture than anything else so maybe that’s where my thing for rhymes comes from.
So I’d write from a young age but never really on a consistent basis until I was twenty and someone read the poems and stories I’d written, and they encouraged me to keep writing regularly. That’s the age at which things started to make sense and fall in place, and I started developing this ‘master plan’ for my life; what I wanted to achieve; what I wanted to become; and ultimately how I’d want to be remembered in time. I’m a big dreamer (all those hours sleeping finally amounted to something, go figure) with what many would consider ‘crazy’ or ‘utopic’ aspirations, and if I were to detail the full plan (I actually have a poem titled ‘The PLaN’) you’d need a large time scale, a sharpie, a few marker pens, a lot of sticky notes, coffee and/or Red Bull, an open and visual mind, and we’d be here for a while so I won’t.
Anyway, back to how I got here. So I’d write and then at some point I started a blog to share my works with people. That eventually led to a friend, Jessica (who’s now also my business partner on different projects), suggesting I should talk to someone who works in publishing. That person then suggested I try out spoken word after having read my poems (I’d say I’m a pretty good listener who takes good advice on board at this point *pats self on back*). So that led to me attending Kwani? Open Mic in February 2014, seeing Wordbenda perform, getting ‘bit’ by that ‘stage performance bug’, getting on stage for the first time at Kwani in March 2014, and the rest as they say is history. Since then I’ve performed at different events including Fatuma’s Voice (which is an inspiration and of which I love the concept of addressing social issues, giving a platform for young artists, and supporting worthy causes); been crowned a Slam King; received encouragement and appreciation for my work from people I look up to and admire; started a new blog on which I post regularly (www.museedivan.wordpress.com); worked on a series combining poems and artwork titled ‘His Words My Muse’ that’s almost done (check the blog, yo); been considered worthy enough of being interviewed or featured a few times on different sites (thanks by the way); and started an organization called Ink Overflow which is focused on the youth, artists, and the promotion of art forms such as poetry, spoken word, and music.
About Ink Overflow:
We currently hold monthly events called ‘Word Sessions’ every first Saturday of every month at the Paa Ya Paa Arts & Culture Centre from 2pm to 5pm, and we are also working on other projects and a few surprises for the near future. Ink Overflow has three key goals with the event side of the organization which are: a) to showcase talent to a new and growing audience; b) to encourage self-expression from the youth which is a key factor in achieving any change in our society; and c) to eventually prove to aspiring artists that you can make a good living off of your art. We pay the different artists to perform each month and even though the amounts might not yet be close enough to make a living from, the more we grow, the bigger and wider our audience becomes, the closer we get to achieving that goal (I don’t believe in work without compensation). Shoutout to the artists who’ve already performed at ‘Word Sessions’ and who’ve made every event memorable. Every month I find added reason to keep chasing my dreams because of you and I know the Ink Overflow team feels the same way too. You all are the real MVPs. And to everyone else and our audience: keep on supporting your own and thank you. I wholeheartedly believe in the vision I have for Ink Overflow and I’ve sacrificed to dedicate myself to making it come true. I’m too stubborn and too attached to the dreams I spent hours asleep/awake cultivating to let them go.
So what’s next?
I’ll work on another project – which will combine different art forms – that’s dear to me once the series is complete (I won’t give away the name of it just yet but its acronym is ‘LSS’), and keep working on growing Ink Overflow and other plans, but the short answer would be: Infinity and beyond, my G. Infinity and beyond. A guy can dream, right?